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Author Topic: Late Season PNW Blacktail Archery  (Read 2861 times)

Offline p_m_clean

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Late Season PNW Blacktail Archery
« on: December 01, 2022, 08:53:39 AM »
I have a little experience hunting blacktail, but have always hunted early and general archery season and don't have any experience with late season. I haven't had any luck so far this season so I am trying to get it done before late season ends.

I am hunting an area of private land on Whidbey island where I have bucks showing up on my trail cam consistently, they were on cam during the day a lot in mid November due to the rut. For the last week or 2 I am typically seeing them in the early morning hours before first light. I have been somewhat consistently putting apples out and that has kept them interested in the area.

I have limited time to hunt, likely only 2 more weekends and I am trying to decide how to spend my time. I have a makeshift blind set up 25 yards from my cam and where I put apples out, I have had past success just putting apples out right before first light and sitting waiting for them to come in. I tried that last weekend with no luck, they didn't even come into the apples at night last weekend, which I think may have been due to the wind storm leaving a lot of fresh downfall for them to eat in other areas?? With the snow and cold weather I am thinking apples would be productive, my only other option is to "still" hunt but the area has dense ferns and brush so it is almost impossible to move through the area quietly. I did get my deer last year bashing through the ferns and jumping some deer out of their bed.

So should I put time in sitting over apples waiting for them to show themselves in the daylight or just try my best to still hunt and get lucky finding them in their beds?

Any experience with what blacktail will do after a big wind storm? Any specific advice for late season?

Thanks in advance

Offline Special T

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Re: Late Season PNW Blacktail Archery
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2022, 09:15:49 AM »
If I was contained to a smaller piece of land I would sit in a Tree stand or ground blind. I would save still hunting for the timber/woods.  :twocents:
In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself. 

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Offline ljsommer

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Re: Late Season PNW Blacktail Archery
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2022, 09:35:31 AM »
Following along, I'd really like to figure out blacktail, particularly timber/woods hunting. Speaking of which, wouldn't today actually be a pretty great day for that? (lots of fresh snow)

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Re: Late Season PNW Blacktail Archery
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2022, 10:18:27 AM »
I've tried my hand a couple xs hunting blacktails in the snow. Found they stuck to the big timber. Never had any luck. But I'm not an expert,more of a novice hunting blacktails

Offline p_m_clean

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Re: Late Season PNW Blacktail Archery
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2022, 10:40:56 AM »
If I was contained to a smaller piece of land I would sit in a Tree stand or ground blind. I would save still hunting for the timber/woods.  :twocents:

I have about 35 acres to hunt, about 5 acres is cleared with a house and I have only seen deer in the cleared areas at night, homeowners have dogs that keep things pretty locked down around the house. The rest of the property is wooded mix of more open fern undergrowth and thick sticker bushes. My blind is right at the edge of a wooded area facing into the woods on a known deer trail.

Not sure if you would consider that small enough that still hunting wont be affective or?

Offline duckmen1

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Re: Late Season PNW Blacktail Archery
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2022, 11:17:32 AM »
If all eggs are in one parcel of land such as you are in I would sit an area instead of still hunting through it. Kind of keep to the same game plan you have had. But if you know of more trails deeper in the woods maybe an option to sit the trails further in away from the cleared section. Maybe getting less nocternal activity and more daytime activity further in. Just a thought

But continueing the apples at the known location might be a good option. Just keep investing the time you have available.
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Offline Special T

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Re: Late Season PNW Blacktail Archery
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2022, 12:29:42 PM »
I would settle into a blind 30 min before shooting your and sit in the bling for as long as you could stand it. Certainly the first hour or 2. Then I slight still hunt it and leave. It's just big enough you could still hunt it for an hour maybe 2 but not an all day thing.

Find Boyd Iversons Blacktail trophy tactics 2. Ive found island deer to be something between black tail and whitetail in habits. Good luck
In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself. 

Confucius

Offline p_m_clean

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Re: Late Season PNW Blacktail Archery
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2022, 01:25:45 PM »
I would settle into a blind 30 min before shooting your and sit in the bling for as long as you could stand it. Certainly the first hour or 2. Then I slight still hunt it and leave. It's just big enough you could still hunt it for an hour maybe 2 but not an all day thing.

Find Boyd Iversons Blacktail trophy tactics 2. Ive found island deer to be something between black tail and whitetail in habits. Good luck

Thanks for the advice, this is pretty much the plan I have been thinking about.

One thing I have always wondered about getting in before first light is how do you know you aren't scaring away any animals getting into the blind and getting set up? I know they hang out there within a hour before first light pretty often. I have been getting out to the blind right around first light. I have a pretty concealed path around the back side of a barn to an area where I see my blind and the area I drop my apples apples. So I can see if there are any deer in the area before I possibly spook them getting set up.

Is is better to get in there early and possibly spook something getting set up, or get there at first light when I can see if they are there and make a plan of attack before they get spooked?

Also with the apples, I had luck one time not putting apples out for a few days, then put some out right at first light and the deer came in after waiting for only a few minutes. I don't know if that was just luck, or them smelling the apples and running in thinking they had another free meal. My worry about having apples out consistently is that they will just get used to them being there at night, and never risk showing up  during the day.

At least I invested in a heated jacket so I can sit in my little blind (lawn chair behind a big tree) and wait be nice and warm. 

Offline Special T

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Re: Late Season PNW Blacktail Archery
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2022, 02:10:13 PM »
I would settle into a blind 30 min before shooting your and sit in the bling for as long as you could stand it. Certainly the first hour or 2. Then I slight still hunt it and leave. It's just big enough you could still hunt it for an hour maybe 2 but not an all day thing.

Find Boyd Iversons Blacktail trophy tactics 2. Ive found island deer to be something between black tail and whitetail in habits. Good luck

Thanks for the advice, this is pretty much the plan I have been thinking about.

One thing I have always wondered about getting in before first light is how do you know you aren't scaring away any animals getting into the blind and getting set up? I know they hang out there within a hour before first light pretty often. I have been getting out to the blind right around first light. I have a pretty concealed path around the back side of a barn to an area where I see my blind and the area I drop my apples apples. So I can see if there are any deer in the area before I possibly spook them getting set up.

Is is better to get in there early and possibly spook something getting set up, or get there at first light when I can see if they are there and make a plan of attack before they get spooked?

Also with the apples, I had luck one time not putting apples out for a few days, then put some out right at first light and the deer came in after waiting for only a few minutes. I don't know if that was just luck, or them smelling the apples and running in thinking they had another free meal. My worry about having apples out consistently is that they will just get used to them being there at night, and never risk showing up  during the day.

At least I invested in a heated jacket so I can sit in my little blind (lawn chair behind a big tree) and wait be nice and warm.

A couple of my spots I gave up on early morning stands because I kept bumping deer. Mine liked to bed in the wide quiet trail I made to my stand.   If you bump deer you need a new blind location if you have them patterned show up earlier so they are meandering around the stand before shooting light.

Unfortunately your situation doesn't seem to lend itself to an evening hunt.
In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself. 

Confucius

Offline Bareback

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Re: Late Season PNW Blacktail Archery
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2022, 02:13:47 PM »
Iíve been observing the island deer on my property for 10 years and still have not seen a pattern (for mature bucks). As previously mentioned, the does and younger bucks may have some whitetail tendencies but just when you think you have them figured out they are gone for a few days.

Typically when baiting, early, before the season, Iíll over bait or put out a lot. This seems to get them attracted to the area and I can get an inventory of the resident deer. As the season nears I start cutting back on quantities eventually only putting out 3 apples or a cup of sweet cob. It creates a competition which seems to bring them out sooner (before dark). Evenings seemed to be more consistent then mornings. And of course there is the random mid day fly by.

They also seem to do some post (main) rut wandering looking for does that didnít  get knocked up a month ago. Which should be about now.

Here are some night feeder pics of island deer.

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Re: Late Season PNW Blacktail Archery
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2022, 02:15:45 PM »
Iíve been taking pics of this guy for 6 years. Seen him during the day once, I was on the tractor. He waved.

Good luck.

Offline p_m_clean

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Re: Late Season PNW Blacktail Archery
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2022, 03:44:54 PM »
Iíve been observing the island deer on my property for 10 years and still have not seen a pattern (for mature bucks). As previously mentioned, the does and younger bucks may have some whitetail tendencies but just when you think you have them figured out they are gone for a few days.

Typically when baiting, early, before the season, Iíll over bait or put out a lot. This seems to get them attracted to the area and I can get an inventory of the resident deer. As the season nears I start cutting back on quantities eventually only putting out 3 apples or a cup of sweet cob. It creates a competition which seems to bring them out sooner (before dark). Evenings seemed to be more consistent then mornings. And of course there is the random mid day fly by.

They also seem to do some post (main) rut wandering looking for does that didnít  get knocked up a month ago. Which should be about now.

Here are some night feeder pics of island deer.

Thanks for the info. I kind of baited similarly, but by accident, had tons of apples I started putting out early before the season, now I only have a 5 gallon bucket left so I only put a few out every few days. Do you try to put apples out at the same time every day or just random? that makes a lot of sense that less apples = competition so they may be more likely to come out earlier, or hang around later.

Nice bucks. I have a few of similar size on my cams. I also have this guy with a really dark gnarly looking 4 point rack. Not sure what's going on with him, his body seems smaller then the other bucks, and his rack looks way different, maybe he's just really old, or different genetics. had an opportunity at him but completely blew it. Hoping I get another chance. 

Offline Special T

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Re: Late Season PNW Blacktail Archery
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2022, 05:42:48 PM »
It may be too late for this year... but I had a spot like yours I'd have an electric bucket feeder that spits corn out at 9am every day. I'd have a sweet ground blind or ladder tree stand with several cleared shooting lanes.

Build that relationship with the land owner. Help them out, bribe with booze smoked salmon whatever so that you canake some minor hunting improvements  that don't affect the property they use.

I do most my tree/limb/brush trimming after the end of hunting season. You can see where lanes can be cut with less work.  A hand pruner pole saw and such in an organized fashion make all the difference. A good limbing on private land can last you 2-3 years
In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself. 

Confucius

Offline dreadi

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Re: Late Season PNW Blacktail Archery
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2022, 10:27:40 PM »
These jerks only show up at night.




 
And Iíve had cams out since August.


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Re: Late Season PNW Blacktail Archery
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2022, 06:36:56 AM »
As you can tell by the cam pictures above the decent bucks are nocturnal when not in the rut. With that being said go in early at dark and stay until it gets dark before you come out.
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